National Historical Museum of the Republic of Belarus

Maps. Plans. Schemes

The collection includes specimens of cartographic, touristic, educational materials, as well as plans, diagrams, drawings. The collection covers the period from the early 17th century to the present day.

The formation of the collection began in 1958, when the museum received the first exhibit - map "Summer Campaign of 1915 on the Russian front" from a participant of the revolutionary movement V.S. Prozor. After that the collection was enriched with maps and plans, which were transferred by the Central State Historical Archive of the BSSR. The collections were enriched with items from other government agencies, and also from private individuals: A.K. Haraburda (Schematic map of the Russian Railways, 1894), Emeryk Czapski (from the Hutten-Czapski count family, the grandson of Karol Czapski, chairman of the Minsk City Council from 1890 to 1904). In 1976 Emeryk Czapski, who lived in Italy, sent his gift to the museum – map of Grand Duchy of Lithuania of 1745.

The most valuable items in the collection include a map of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, 1613-1630 (?). Initiator and donator of its creation was one of the richest magnates of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Nicholas Christopher Radziwill (the Orphan). The work on gathering of the materials and publishing of the maps was conducted in late 16th – early 17th centuries in Niasviž. Drawings and decoration of the map was made by a famous engraver Tomasz Makowski.

The full version of the map consists of two parts: the map of the Grand Duchy and maps of the lower reaches of the river Dnieper. In general, 1039 settlements are indicated on the map, including 544 within the borders of the Grand Duchy, with 342 directly within the territory of Belarus. All inscriptions are in Latin, the majority of them are historical information, comments on settlements, etc. This is the first large-scale (1:1300000) map of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Besides the interest are arisen by world atlases of the 18th century, map of the Grand Duchy of 1745, plans of the Babrujsk fortress rebuilding, draft of "Idea of the Minsk centre", implemented on the 27th of August, 1944 by architecture academics Alexey Shchusev, Vladimir Semenov, Nikolai Kolli, et al.

The collection includes 198 items of corpus and 1096 accesory items.